sich damenhaft benehmen.

Light Drawings — photographs of Pablo Picasso by Gjon Mili, 1949

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It would be very curious to record by means of photographs, not the stage of the picture, but its metamorphoses  —Pablo Picasso

When LIFE magazine’s Gjon Mili, a technical prodigy and lighting innovator, visited Pablo Picasso in the South of France in 1949, it was clear that the meeting of these two artists and craftsmen was bound to result in something extraordinary. Mili showed Picasso some of his photographs of ice skaters with tiny lights affixed to their skates, jumping in the dark — and the Spanish genius’s lively, ever-stirring mind began to race.

“Picasso” LIFE magazine reported at the time, “gave Mili 15 minutes to try one experiment. He was so fascinated by the result that he posed for five sessions, projecting 30 drawings of centaurs, bulls, Greek profiles and his signature. Mili took his photographs in a darkened room, using two cameras, one for side view, another for front view. By leaving the shutters open, he caught the light streaks swirling through space.”

This series of photographs, known ever since as Picasso’s “light drawings,” were made with a small electric light in a darkened room; in effect, the images vanished as soon as they were created — and yet they still live, six decades later, in Mili’s playful, hypnotic images. Many of them were also put on display in early 1950 in a show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Finally, while the “Picasso draws a centaur in the air” photo that leads off this gallery is rightly celebrated, many of the images in this gallery are far less well-known — in fact, many of them never ran in the magazine — but they are no less thrilling, after all these years, than the iconic picture of the archetypal creative genius of the 20th century crafting, on the fly, a fleeting (albeit captured forever on film) work of art.


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TRANSMORPHISM « Leif Podhajsky

All work © Copyright 2012

Mary Button Durell

When I came across the work of Mary Button Durell, a San Francisco-based artist, I was instantly drawn in. Her sculptures are otherworldly and beautiful. And I was completely surprised when I found out the simple process she  employs to create them. Each is built primarily from just two simple things: tracing paper and wheat paste. The forms are carefully constructed one layer at a time to create rigid, self-supporting structures, which are then attached to one another to create complex, multi-celled systems.

The real beauty in these pieces is Durell’s use of such simple materials to capture light and redirect it into beautiful washes and shadows. The pieces are so colorful, even though (and also because) the use of color is so restrained.  To read more about Durell’s process and get a glimpse into her workspace, there’s a great interview with her over at In the Make.

All images: Mary Button Durell

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The Conditions of Winter


Drawing on his experience in the Red Army, Rinat Voligamsi paints from photographs of early Russian military life to reinterpret the bleak conditions in his current show “The Conditions of Winter.” The exhibition opens today at London’s Erarta Gallery, an outpost of the largest non-governmental contemporary art museum in Russia, exploring themes of humanity in the face of power and authority.

Though he paints with nearly mathematical precision, Voligamsi is no photorealist. Deft surrealist alterations range from tiny, exquisite details—burning cigarette embers create the Great Bear constellation—to major transformations, like figures that are cut in half, duplicated or inverted.


By manipulating the photographs while staying true to the look and feel of the originals, the resulting distorted scenes seamlessly merge the documentary reality with the artist’s vision, blending fact and fiction to make powerful statements.



Voligamsi’s altered figures seemingly come to life, suggesting the absurdities of living under tyranny as well as the potential for resistance to spin powerful metaphors about what happens to people under state supression.


The Conditions of Winter ran through 19 November 2011 at the Erarta Galleries London

this article was discovered coolhunting

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The work of Award winning and Japanese artist Akiko Ikeuchi is stunning. Born in Tokyo in 1964, Akiko received a doctorate in painting from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. For over two decades he has been hanging his delicately crafted string sculptures in galleries around Japan, Korea, and New York.

The installations are constructed from extremely delicate silk threads, and despite the chaotic appearance of the knotted webs Akiko plans each work as an architect would plan a building with precision blueprints that involve a complex internal framework. The resulting works evoke powerful forces of nature: tornadoes, whirlpools, and perhaps even galaxies themselves.

Akiko begins with first laying a foundation structure using cotton thread. Next, a second layer using fine silk thread is slowly knotted into a mesh, a process that spans nearly a month for an installation such as the one depicted. Amazing work.



1998 Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists to stay in New York, USA
City College of The City University of New York, Humanities and Arts, Art Department, Visiting Scholar(-2000)

1991 Mr.O Award,Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Tokyo